Filing Jointly vs. Filing on Your Own

Deciding whether or not to file for bankruptcy can be a difficult process: Chapter 7 bankruptcy or Chapter 13 bankruptcy, keep your home or lose your home, single or joint filing: many decisions must be made. In order to make an informed decision, you should enlist the experience of a bankruptcy lawyer who can explain all of your options and the impact that the type of filing may have on your life, family and future.

At the law firm of Babut Law Offices, PLLC, we are committed to helping clients understand all aspects of bankruptcy filings, such as single and joint filings. Contact our Michigan bankruptcy lawyers for a free consultation to learn how we can help you.

Joint Filings

When debt is held jointly by a married couple, it often makes the most sense to file a joint bankruptcy in order to thoroughly protect both spouses and have as much of the debt discharged as possible. However, only lawfully married couples can file a joint bankruptcy. The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) currently prevents same-sex couples from filing a joint bankruptcy. However, the laws in this area are constantly being argued and reviewed, so it is important to speak with a bankruptcy attorney to discuss your most up-to-date options.

Single Filings

If you are single, you will automatically be filing a single bankruptcy filing. However, married couples have the option of filing individually. When a spouse files for a single bankruptcy, the other spouse is not affected. In situations where most of the debt is in one spouse's name, it is logical that the debt-carrying spouse will file alone. However, if the debt is held jointly and one spouse files for single bankruptcy, creditors are able to go after the spouse who did not file for bankruptcy as that spouse is liable for the debts. In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, creditors are not able to collect from the other spouse until the discharge is complete, but can go after the non filing spouse after the discharge.

Contact Our Bankruptcy Attorneys

We can help you understand whether a single or joint bankruptcy filing is right for you. Let our lawyers at the law firm of Babut Law Offices, PLLC, assess your case during a free initial consultation. With four locations in southeast Michigan, we provide quality legal services at an affordable price. Contact us by calling 800-671-8068 or 734-485-7000 or by sending an email.

We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code.